Friday, June 22, 2018

Standard & Poor's affirms positive rating for Chelyabinsk Oblast

The "BB+" long-term issuer credit and "ruAA+" Russia national sale ratings for Chelyabinsk Oblast has been affirmed by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, which called the outlook for the industrial region "stable."

Standard & Poor's said that the ratings reflect its view of the region's low budgetary flexibility and predictability under Russia's developing and unbalanced system of interbudgetary relations.

The ratings were bolstered by the oblast's sound budgetary performance, very low debt burden and positive liquidity position.

The Chelyabinsk Oblast is expected to adhere to its conservative financial policies while maintaining a sound budgetary performance, low debt and a positive liquidity position in the face of potential revenue volatility stemming from economic concentration.

Standard & Poor's did warn, however, that it could take a negative rating action over the next year if the oblast's loosened control over operating expenditures causes a structural deterioration of its budgetary performance and decreasing spending flexibility.

A positive rating action, however, could follow a better-than-forecast budgetary performance combined with document cash policies that resulted in structural consolidation of the oblast's liquidity position with a goal of reducing the oblast's exposure to financial and cash volatility. That rating upside is not expected in the next year, Standard & Poor's cautioned.